Ryan McGranaghan


In May 2016, I defended my Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences program. During my graduate career, I worked within both the Remote Sensing and Atmospheric Sciences Department and the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR). I also pursued collaborations away from the University of Colorado with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the Los Alamos National Labs (LANL). These collaborations have led to a strong and far-flung network and my current position as a postdoctoral research fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.



I received my Bachelor's of Science from the University of Tennessee in Aerospace Engineering in 2011. I then joined the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where I received a Master's of Sciences in 2013 and a Ph.D. in May 2016. Throughout graduate school I was fortunate to have a wide variety of professional experiences, including with NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Marshall Space Flight Center, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Space Weather Prediction Center, and Aerospace Concepts Pty. Ltd.



My personal time is spent reading, listening to and discovering new music, enjoying various outdoor activities, and following my favorite sports teams (Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates). In 2015 I was able to give aTEDx talk that gave me a deep passion for public speaking and the importance of communication.


I'm very close with my two brothers and sister, and love to travel, cook, and spend time with my blue tick hound, Tupelo.

  • B.S Aerospace Engineering - University of Tennessee
  • M.S Aerospace Engineering Sciences - University of Colorado Boulder
  • Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering Sciences - University of Colorado Boulder

Research Interests: 

I'm interested in all things related to space, but focus my current work on the topics of space physics, geospace sciences, astrodynamics, estimation/data assimilation, mission and spacecraft design, and satellite navigation. Recently, I have realized the exciting possibilities afforded through complex systems analysis, machine learning, and a data science approach to science. These topics have quickly become intense passions and active areas of research.

Selected Awards: 
  • Living with a Start Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017 - present)
  • Dartmouth College Visiting Young Scientist (Fall 2016)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2013-2016)
  • Top Dissertation Award (2016) - Aerospace Engineering Department University of Colorado Boulder
  • TEDx Speaker 2015 University of Colorado Boulder
  • Invited Young Scientist Speaker (2016) - National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Committee on Solar and Space Physics
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) Outstanding Student Paper Award - Fall Meeting 2015
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Vela Fellowship

Selected Publications: 
  1. McGranaghan, R., D. J. Knipp, and T. Matsuo (2016), High-latitude ionospheric conductivity variability in three dimensions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 7867–7877, doi:10.1002/2016GL070253.
  2. McGranaghan, R., D. J. Knipp, T. Matsuo, and E. Cousins (2016), Optimal interpolation analysis of high-latitude ionospheric Hall and Pedersen conductivities: Application to assimilative ionospheric electrodynamics reconstruction, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 121, 4898–4923, doi:10.1002/2016JA022486.
  3. McGranaghan, R., D. J. Knipp, T. Matsuo, H. Godinez, R. J. Redmon, S. C. Solomon, and S. K. Morley (2015), Modes of high-latitude auroral conductance variability derived from DMSP energetic electron precipitation observations: Empirical orthogonal function analysis, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 120, 11,013–11,031, doi:10.1002/2015JA021828.
Ryan Mcgranaghan
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818.354.0926